Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Canva Has Acquired Pixabay and Pexels - Five Ways to Use Canva

Canva has been my go-to graphics creation tool for the last five or so years. It is incredibly easy to use and makes it possible for people like me who have no visual design skills to create good looking graphics. Pixabay has been my go-to source for public domain pictures and video clips for the last six or seven years. Last week Pixabay became a part of Canva.

Last week Canva acquired Pixabay and a similar site called Pexels. Pixabay and Pexels offer millions of high quality public domain images and video clips. The libraries of both sites will be integrated into the image search tool included within Canva. You can still access both sites independently of Canva.

Five things that you and your students can do with Canva:

Create Image Collages



Create Simple Webpages



Create a Greeting Card



Create a Timeline



Create Certificates



How to Use Pixabay

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Educational and Moving Memorial Day Videos

Tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the United States. Students often confuse the origin and purpose of Memorial Day with those of Veterans Day. The following videos can help students understand the origins and meanings of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.


The Meaning of Memorial Day is a two minute video covering the origins of the holiday in the United States. The video is embedded below.



The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers the following video overview of the history of Memorial Day.


Jocko Willink isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoy his podcast and found this video that he released last Memorial Day to be quite moving.


To find more resources for teaching about Memorial Day, visit Larry Ferlazzo's list of resources.

Four Ways to Show & Share Videos Without Distractions

At this point I think we can all agree that YouTube can be a great place to find educational videos to share with students. Of course, the downside to YouTube has always been all of the "related" content that appears around the videos that you find on YouTube. In the following video I demonstrate four methods of displaying and sharing YouTube videos without all of the "related" sidebar content.


And if you're looking for alternatives to YouTube, check out the options I highlighted in this Practical Ed Tech article.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

AR, VR, and Bowling - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining to start this Memorial Day weekend. We're going to Maine Wildlife Park, riding bicycles, and playing outside for as long as we can put with the black flies this weekend. I hope that wherever you are this weekend, you can get outside too.

Before I head out for a day of outdoor fun, I have this week's list of the most popular posts of the week.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. How to Make an Animated Timeline in Google Slides
2. Nine Tutorials for Making Your Own Mobile App
3. 7 Good Apps for Getting Started With AR & VR
4. A Good and Free Summer Activity for Rainy Days
5. 5 Places to Find Summer Math Activities for Elementary School Students
6. Fishbowl - A New Professional Network for Teachers
7. Five DIY Virtual Reality Projects for Students

Thank You for Your Support!

Three Good Resources to Help Students Become Discerning News Consumers

Earlier this week TED-Ed published a new lesson titled Can You Spot the Problem With These Headlines? The short video lesson walks students through dissecting a couple of hypothetical news headlines. By watching the video students can begin to understand how headlines are written to entice readers and how misleading headlines are created.


Here are a couple of other resources that I've previously featured for helping students learn to discern the information that they find online and in other media.

Factitious
Factitious is a game for testing your skill at identifying fake and misleading news stories. The game was developed by the American University Game Lab and the American University's School of Communication. To play Factitious simply go to the site and select quick start. You'll then see an article appear on the screen. Read through the article, click the source listed at the bottom, and then select either the green check mark or red X to indicate whether or not you think the article is a real news story. After you make your selection you'll get instant feedback and an explanation of how you can tell if the article was a real or fake news story.

Checkology
Checkology is a service that is designed to help students develop those skills. Checkology's free version offers four interactive modules for students to complete. Each of the modules is comprised of between twenty and forty-seven instructional video clips and interactive comprehension checks. The four modules are titled Info Zones, Democracy's Watchdog, Practicing Quality Journalism, and Misinformation. As you might expect, the contents of the modules gets progressively more difficult as each section is completed.